I thought that when you said goodbye, you meant goodbye.
Well, sort of.
It came in a storm of your depression, though, and I am used to the drama, sad to say. But gradually, I also realized that you were never kidding when you told me that you feel your fantasies are the only thing that will save you. And me? What do I mean to you? Well, I am not sure: perhaps in this context, real human beings do mean so very little. I had never wanted to believe that.
So instead of goodbye, it continued. What was it? A friendship? I thought, maybe something like that, perhaps with ex-lover benefits. But no. There were no benefits. It was the same series of long, drawn-out conversations. My elation; your grief. My bad day; your tragic life. It was not always so apparent. There was a time that my joyous spirit could bring you higher. But not now, not for some time now. So you said goodbye. And I considered it, after all, a breakup. You may not have thought of that, my love.
But nothing about our relationship has ever been so ordinary. As long as we have been together, we still have been distinct. I always loved that. But apart, we are still bound in some sense. Perhaps this is always true.
And still, I think of it. Love. I am not sure I can say that now, not sure that it is the appropriate term to use now that I no longer want to climb into your bed or tell you my secrets. I did tell you my secrets, and I fear that this is what ended it all.
So, I came to see you. We walked along on a beautiful day. The most beautiful day. We were headed one direction, but I did not realize that you would keep walking so far without telling me you never knew the way. With the tears streaming down my face as we walked the wrong way far, far too long, it hit me.
We had been walking the wrong way for a long time. We had been walking, and I never cared–just enjoyed seeing this new world with you. We were walking the wrong way. And still, I could look up and see the sky, my blistered feet aching, I could still want this life. And you, you look at it all so sadly, wanting to end it all. And if you did now, it might give you some relief.
After all the wonder in this world, the world you see so grandly with your artist’s eye, I hoped always for more. I hoped for the world as you create it, making that magic with your words. This is what felt so real, so beautiful about you. But your reality really does rest on the shelf. You fear life, I believe, as you told me you did. I just thought that you would want someday to dip your toes in the water, swim. Ah, delight!
You say that sharing misery is not what you want, but I scarcely believe you. I reach for the stars and grab one, and you smile, sadly, then retreat to your corner to cry. I could feel guilty. I used to feel sad for you. But I know too well how it is all going to play out.
And where were you when I needed you? When I was sad? When I needed more than anything to have the world drift away while you held me?
Well, of course, your suffering has always been greater. You feel distanced from this world. You tell me you are an alien. You imagine yourself excluded from the world, and you lament… And yet, when the world comes for you, you back away, retreat, hide.
Others will love you now. I am happy, happy for them. Happy for you. It deflects the suffering for you, perhaps. It makes me see clearly. You said that I was not interchangeable, but I wonder in my cynical moments.
I never expected to be happier without you. But I am. I cried last week, I think, for the days spent wanting your happiness. I cried for the joy you refused to share with me, when joy is such a gift. Ah! My fantasy! I spoke of it, and you began to cry. Was it because I could never fulfill yours?And all those erotic words, dreams, moments we shared.. they really meant so little?
I never wanted to believe that, but no… I think it is true.
Depression can rob a person of so much, but to wish for it, to hold onto it… I thought I saw the sublime in you when you were at your most miserable. I felt the terror and the ecstasy, and saw you pull away into it. I cannot be a part of your death wish. I will not.
You said goodbye, perhaps in haste. Perhaps you wished that it would force me to do something to make your fantasies real. Perhaps you thought I would beg you to stay. Sorry, though. I cannot beg you. I love you, but I cannot beg for love.
So, this is the end of this chapter, my love. This is where I get off. I have loved you, and loved you well, loved your kisses and loved what part of me you would let me love. Fantasy plays such a rich role in my life.. but not fantasies that means more than the real connection with the people who have them. So, love, this is where I say goodbye.